So what’s happening?
ICANN, who manage these things, are releasing more than 1,500 new domain name extensions that anybody can apply for. So where as you may have secured your .co.uk or your .com domain name now there will be such things as .shop .clothing .property .food and so on. There’s even a .sexy!!! If you’d like to see a list of the domains to released so far please click here .
Why is this a risk to me?
What you want to avoid is your competitors registering the same word or letters that you currently use in your website address between the www. and one of the new domain endings. They might do this and then use it or register it just to block you from using it. This is a risk for you mainly because Google and other search engines will be using these domain names when returning searches so if you don’t register the new domain names that relate to your sector or block them you will almost certainly lose out!
Can I protect my company?
Yes you can. The secret is to register your name as a trade mark. Using your trade mark you can then register with a special clearing house which has recently been created to help right owners protect their domains. Once registered you can make use of what is called a “sunrise period” where only those people who own the trade mark will be able to reserve the associated name for one of the new domain name extensions. The “sunrise periods” will usually last only around 30 days so if you want to protect your domain names you must act very quickly. Alternatively, some registrars such as Donut are offering a blocking service against third party registration of domains that conflict with trade mark rights.
What should I do next?
You have two ways that you can protect yourself and limit the risk: –
- Contact us and we can discuss what practical steps you can take – we can’t emphasize enough how important this is.
- Complete our simple Domain Name questionnaire and we will provide you with a report on the risks and what to do next.
Head of Intellectual Property
If you have any queries regarding this post, please do not hesitate to contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org